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Transfer Student Admissions

Autumn 2023: Direct to Major Transfer Admissions Program for the Physics major

If you have begun your education at another college or university and wish to transfer to the BS major in Physics at UW for Autumn 2023, we have a direct to major admissions program. Students may apply to the UW and the Physics major at the same time.  When completing a transfer application to UW, students will be asked about their intended major as part of the application process. Applicants will be prompted to list an intended major, such as the BS in Physics, and then later (March 15-April 5) complete an application for admission to the UW Physics Department ( 

Physics also welcomes students who enter UW as a pre-major and apply to the Physics major once they have completed the prerequisite physics and math courses and/or demonstrated readiness for the major through physics courses that have these as a prerequisite. 

Admission to the BS major in Physics is capacity-constrained based on the following criteria:

  • Applicants should have completed the first two quarters or first semester of a year-long introductory series in both physics and calculus, and either be enrolled in or have completed the final quarter or semester for both.  If the applicant is enrolled in college in Spring 2023, they should be taking at least one math or physics course.
  • Grades and courses as indicated on their Unofficial Transcript. If applicable, we would like the transcript to include Winter 2023 grades.
  • Current graduation plan listing courses needed to graduate with a Physics Degree and when you intend to take them (
  • A Personal Statement that is separate from your submitted UW application. Include any relevant information from your UW application in the Physics major application. Departments do not have access to the information submitted in the UW application.

Our Application Requirements, including the personal statement prompt can be found on our website (  See below for information on making an appointment with Physics Student Services to discuss the major and your graduation plan.

Submitting an application does not guarantee admission to the Physics major.

Once accepted into the Physics major, students must be registered at UW Seattle in their first quarter as a new Physics major, comply with the Continuation Policy and the UW’s Satisfactory Progress Policy to remain in the Physics major.

Timeline for Autumn 2023 Applications:

  • December 15, 2022 - UW application opens (
  • February 16, 2023 - Applications to UW are due
  • March 15, 2023 - Physics major application is opened on the Physics website ( You will need to have a UWNetID ( to access the Physics major application. You will receive instructions on how to set up the UWNetID after you have applied to UW.
  • April 5, 2023 - Application for admission to Physics major is due
  • May - Physics Department notifies applicants of decision to the major and informs UW Admissions Office of departmental major decisions
  • May 1 - June 30, 2023 - UW Admissions Office notifies applicants of admission to UW and the Physics Department
  • Summer 2023 - Attend UW Advising & Orientation session and register for Autumn courses

Regular Transfer Student Admissions

If you are at another college or university and wish to transfer to the BS major in Physics at UW, the first step is to apply to the University of Washington (  If you will have completed one year of physics and calculus by June, you may apply to the major by April 5.  It is also possible to apply (or re-apply) to the Physics major in the future after being admitted to UW as a transfer student and/or completing more physics and math coursework.  We typically reserve Winter quarter admissions for transfer students who are not participating in direct to major.

Applying to the University of Washington

The University of Washington Admissions website has answers to most questions about application to the University. When you fill out an application to UW you will be asked about your intended major as part of the application process. You should list Physics as your intended major, but keep in mind that you will be applying to the major separately. It is also a good idea to incorporate in your UW application essay on the topics and ideas you want to study at UW and particularly in the Physics major. The strongest applicants to the UW are those who not only show evidence of previous academic success, but those who have also made the case in their personal statement for their interest in specific academic fields of study offered by UW.

Transcripts are evaluated officially by the UW Admissions Office only when a student applies to the UW. If you are transferring from a Washington State community or technical college, you can determine the way your classes transfer to UW by using the UW Admission Office’s Transfer Equivalency Guide.

Information Sessions & Advising

We do not currently host Information Sessions but are eager to meet with any and all prospective Physics major students! Please make an individual appointment with us:

Email us directly if you need an accommodation or time that is not available:

Appointments may occur over zoom or in-person on weekdays during typical business hours.

Links to informational presentations about the Physics major and potential Physics careers may be found at

Physics Transfer Student FAQs

  1. What if I don’t get in through the Direct to Major program?

    If you are not admitted through the direct to major program you will be able to apply to Physics through the regular admissions process. You can find more information on our admissions website. We typically reserve winter quarter admissions for transfer students who are not participating in direct to major.

  2. How many times can I apply to Physics?

    You can apply through the direct to major program once. If you are not admitted through this process, you will have an opportunity to apply through the regular admissions process twice. Please check our admissions website for the deadlines.

  3. What does “capacity constrained” mean?

    Capacity constrained majors have additional requirements and selective screening, which may include an additional application process, such as the materials we ask for in our Physics major application (

    Completing the minimum UW admission requirements does not guarantee admission to capacity constrained majors nor does submitting an application to the Physics major guarantee admission.

    Most students apply to capacity constrained majors after they are admitted to the UW.

  4. What are the prerequisites to applying to the Physics major?

    You must complete one year of introductory physics and one year of calculus for regular admission, or be enrolled in the final quarter of these sequences for early admission, before you can declare a Physics major. These sequences are both available at community colleges (, and are offered every quarter at UW.

  5. When is the application deadline?

    April 5.

  6. When will applicants be notified of their decision?

    Physics major admissions decisions will be communicated via email in May, to the email address used in the application. The offer to join the Physics major is contingent upon admission to the UW as a transfer student.

    UW Admissions decisions will be sent via email to the email address used in the application in late June.

  7. What if I took a prerequisite physics or calculus course and did not achieve the typical grade ranges of ≥2.6 for standard admission and ≥3.2 for early admission?

    You should explain how and why you are ready to be a Physics major in your personal statement.  Admission is holistic, and focuses more on recent achievements than older ones.  It may be appropriate for you to build a better record in courses that have the introductory series as prerequisites and then apply to Physics through the regular admission process once you are a UW student. During this process, you are highly encouraged to meet with a Physics advisor about your graduation plan and any success strategies for moving forward if admitted to the Physics major.